Earth Heart Housing Co-operative is a co-housing community in a very quiet and beautiful part of rural Derbyshire, 5 miles outside Ashbourne and close to the Peak District National Park. Earth Heart owns the freehold of the Grade II listed converted farmhouse and barns. The east wing of the barns is partially converted to create a communal hall for meetings and gatherings, as well as workshop space and storage. We are as ecological as we can manage/afford, having a communal wood pellet boiler for heating, a reed bed waste-water treatment system and using a green electricity company.

The surrounding 21 acres of organic land is managed primarily for nature conservation. There is a large parkland running down to Henmore Brook with a moat (an English Heritage scheduled ancient monument) and other small pastures (grazed with a local organic farmer’s sheep and cows). There is a secluded woodland with a tree circle, a community orchard and allotments with vegetables, fruit and herbs. There is a willow labyrinth and dome, a composting toilet and solar shower dome.

Members of the community own 900+ year leases on the 8 individual homes and each home has private use of a small garden. We set up in 1997 around principles of natural parenting and home-education. We aim for a diverse group of people of a variety of ages, including singles, couples and families with children, with home-owning members as well as tenants and non-member lodgers. Most people are employed off-site but some are based from home. We have the advantage of being able to enjoy our independent lives with privacy when we want it, whilst also living within a mutually supportive and sociable community.

We have community work days and business meetings once a month and occasional ‘sharing’ meetings. Important decisions are taken by consensus and general management is carried out by land, maintenance, finance and administration teams. We have a minimum co-op work requirement for every resident with an expectation of everyone doing a fair share and we understand that nothing gets done unless we all contribute. We expect people to participate regularly in co-op meetings but they are not compulsory.

Opportunities arise from time to time to buy, rent or lodge here. If you are interested in visiting with a view to going on our waiting list, please contact us.